Recently this year I have been on various skate trips, which for me, is what it’s all is about – Skating at events and locations you’ve never been to before.
First of all at the beginning of May I went to the Eat Concrete race in Belgium. This was a great event with tonnes of runs and some extremely fun racing.
I then headed to Alpenrauschen Freeride, which was absolutely amazing – high up in the mountains of Austria and a fairly large UK crew. We had many fast and technical runs down what seemed to be an endless run.
Last weekend I was in Norway for the TMI Lilyhammer IDF World Cup race, which personally I think was the best event I have ever been too. It was fast and pretty technical too, with three left hand corners that you had to drift, especially into the second one as you were travelling at speeds of up to 60mph and also a few sweepers and some tight right hand corners that were totally gripable at full speed.
For me the highlight of this was getting to meet many new people at each event, everyone in the downhill community is so cool and welcoming which means you’re constantly stoked on and off the track!
To get ready for each race I generally give my setup the once over and make sure it’s all in a good state, maybe put some fresh pivot cups and bushings in my trucks and some new griptape, other than that I think it’s all mental. Just keep calm and kill it! Remember that you’re there to have fun and go race some skateboards. Oh yeah, I can’t forget the fresh race wheels!
The Arbor UK team has been expanding recently which is really nice to see, it’s good to see things growing and coming together in the UK scene as always. I’m stoked to be a part of it all and have this opportunity. As y’all know the Arbor decks have been around for a while now and are great quality. However, I defiantly recommend getting some Sucrose wheels to match that! I don’t need to explain why – once you try some you’ll wonder they have been all this time.
Back in the land of good ol’ Essex I shred with the local crew which consists of a few people -Alfie Lewis who is also an Arbor ripper, James Gunn, Danye West, George Bottomley, and Jake Denyer. I travel pretty much every weekend with my friends Alex, Jenny, Tom, Ras as well as the Arbor crew of course. I try to skate with as many people and crews as possible.
Ohhhh man, here is the exciting news! Next up for me is the Kozakov Challenge in Czech Republic which is a dream hill for me – fast and super technical where I’ll be meeting my friends from around the globe that I have come to know from previous events around Europe. I leave for Kozakov on the 21st which is pretty exciting to say the least.
I’m riding the James Kelly Pro Model, This board suits my style and stance perfectly. Subtle but very effective concave keeps you locked in for racing and freeriding, very good durability which I have defiantly tested, and a functional kicktail for having fun on the way to the shops. A good all-around board.
My favourite wheels for freeride generally are the Vice from Sucrose. The Vice uses the signature Arbor Sucrose ‘Groovetube’ core. They combine grip and slip in one well very nicely, this wheel defiantly feels better the faster you go which gives me the confidence that they will stay consistent throughout the life of the wheel. Finally the added bonus, in case huge thane lines are a big deal to you when it comes to freeriding is the amazing long life and durability of this wheel.
For racing and going fast, hands down style and gripping my favourite wheels are for sure the Sucrose Summits. They also feature the groovetube core, square lips and a 56mm contact patch. These were the wheels I was using while at Lilyhammer IDF race . Even at speeds upwards of 50mph they feel very precise. They are drifty enough to make you confident on each drift but grip enough that you can rely on them to provide the right amount of hook-up and exit speed needed. Sucrose wheels offer superior durability and remain grippy throughout the life of the wheel. Even though the wheel is only 71mm in diameter the core really makes up for any roll speed you think you may lose. They also donate a portion of everything sold to groups that protect and restore forests which helps the environment and has a big impact in restoration of forests and trees which is unique to Arbor & Sucrose!
I would like to thank all my sponsors for supporting me as well as helping me progress and come further within the sport. I’d also like to shout out everybody else who is involved in the community for always creating stoke and sharing good times.
Photos: Peter Anderson & Neil Davey